Whether you’re selling online, participating in a pop-up shop or trunk show at a store, customer service is one of the most important aspects of running your fashion business when building relationships. You want your customer to walk away with a good experience and convert them from a one-time buyer to a repeat customer. This is also true for those that are just browsing and may make a purchase in the immediate future or years down the road.
This is why it’s good to establish a set of standards and beliefs that your company, staff and interns can live by as it pertains to the customer so you are aligned and can deliver a consistent experience. It should be in your brand voice, still keep you profitable and fair.
If you think about the sales experience, it typically involves research, shopping and post purchase assessment. These stages give brands several opportunities to connect. Here are a few things to think about when dealing with customer service.
1. Accessibility to the company – Good customer service is one that makes your company accessible. This includes your contact information, when you can be reached and typical response time. Plus, your willingness to accept feedback.
One easy way to make yourself accessible is through social media. The power of a response or conversation with someone can sometimes be invaluable especially since it’s immediate, personal and may also answer the same question that others may have.
2. Share the basics and beyond – Gift wrap, returns and shipping are now standard pieces of information that the customer wants to know. If you offer other services like fittings, alterations or deliveries, make that benefit clear through marketing materials and online.
3. Provide your knowledge and expertise – Offering a designer’s point-of-view can mean the world to a customer. Suggestions on how to style a look, what items match their needs or offering complimentary items can make the buying process easier and also allow you to connect with the shopper. Plus, as a designer, you know how your products can be best worn.
4. Provide insider scoop on news and special events – Making customers feel that they are in the know can often times make someone feel special. Just as important is how you deliver the information. This could be through a newsletter, a phone call or direct piece of mail when you are having a special event, sale or party.
5. Post sale follow-up – There are several ways to continue the conversation after the sale. A handwritten thank you card, e-mail newsletter or even a general follow-up that’s specific to their purchase continues to engage the customer. These small, but very important gestures are not only ways to deliver good service, but may also help strengthen relationships.
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